Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
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Longines reissues iconic chronograph as part of its Heritage collectionMoodieReport, September 2nd
The chronograph - a watch that is used both as a display and stopwatch - features a 41mm diameter transparent steel case back showing the Longines' signature watch movement and blued finish column wheel. A single push-piece is said to reinforce the ...Read more
O'Shea wins Longines Cup at the Hampton ClassicEurosport.co.uk, September 2nd
During Friday's $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix qualifier, O'Shea fell when riding Skara Glen's Sienna and as well as being eliminated from that competition was in some doubt for the Longines Cup. However the Irishman, an international competitor...Read more
Win Longines Irish Champions Weekend Tickets!98FM, September 1st
Well, good, because you just might be bringing 5 of your BFFs to the Longines Irish Champions Weekend – the most Prestigious weekend in Irish Horseracing! We're giving away weekend tickets for you and 5 friends AND we're also throwing in a €100 Tote ...Read more
Longines Grand Prix de St. MoritzWorld Tempus (press release), August 31st
The new Longines CSI St. Moritz belongs to the most altitudinous show jumping events of Switzerland and Europe. The Longines Grand Prix of St. Moritz was won by Laura Kraut from the USA and her gelding Deauville S. She was followed Niklaus Rutschi ...Read more
WEG 2014 CEO moves to new role with Longines MastersHorsetalk, August 28th
Established in three of the biggest cities – Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong – the Longines Masters series is recognized by the FEI and is one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions worldwide. The concept of the Masters was born in 2009 with...Read more
Noel Asmar Equestrian Presents Longines FEI World Cup Show JumpingEquiSearch, August 27th
Rich Fellers August 27, 2015--Vancouver-based equestrian fashion designer Noel Asmar was delighted to serve as the presenting sponsor of the $126,000 Longines CSI3* at Thunderbird Showpark on August 16th, 2015. This FEI North American League ...Read more
Strong Entries Confirmed For Longines Irish Champions Weekend HandicapsSportsNewsIRELAND, August 27th
The entries for the four €150,000 EBF-sponsored handicaps on Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh on September 12th and 13th, including a total of 56 horses from Britain, have been announced today. The Irish Stallion ...Read more
Video. Simon Baker at Royal Ascot 2015World Tempus (press release), August 18th
Longines is the Official Timekeeper as well as the Official Watch and Official Partner of Royal Ascot with the brand having enhanced on course presence including a branded chronometer close to the winning post. Renewing a partnership that began in 2007...Read more